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Recipe ReDux: Portobello Mushroom Burgers

This past week was finals week for me, and the week before was everything-is-due week, so needless to say, I’ve been a little short on time recently. I’ve learned that I need to meal plan like crazy to avoid spending massive amounts of money each week on what ends up being wholly unsatisfying food. As a result, I’ve been focusing on quick and easy recipes that can be thrown together in minutes (hello peanut butter sandwiches!) and massive casseroles that can feed me for several meals (I made a banging shepherd's pie for a pie-themed Pi Day dinner and ate the leftovers for 4 whole meals!).

The point is, I’ve been trying to keep things simple lately. Simple, wholesome, easy, and stress-free. So when I heard that the Recipe ReDux’s theme this month was “A Play on Patties" I knew that I would be cooking up my favorite burger substitute - portobello mushrooms!

These “burgers” require minimal prep. In the morning, I pour my marinade ingredients into a plastic bag, add the mushroom caps, swish everything around, and stick it in my fridge until I come home for dinner. Easy peasy, right?. The mushrooms need a quick trip to the grill, grill pan, or if you somehow find yourself with neither of these (like me), as cast iron skillet will do the trick.

A few minutes on each side, a few slices of red onion thrown in the pan, a bit of tomato, and a bun are all you need to put together a juicy, delicious, satisfying sandwich. I like to add avocado to mine because, um, it’s avocado. I also put in some arugula for a little bite. A little fresh mozzarella would also be a lovely addition. I assemble the rest of the sandwich while the mushrooms and onions are in the pan and suddenly I have a great dinner ready in just a few minutes.

What I love about using mushrooms here is that it keeps the ingredients whole and simple and really celebrates the vegetables you use. I’ve made veggie burgers in the past, and they’re great, but they require more time, more effort, more tweaking. This recipe is perfect for someone with minimal prep time available.

What’s your favorite patty?

Portobello Mushroom Burgers
Serves 4


3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon olive oil + enough for the grill or pan
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Dash of ground pepper
4 large portobello mushroom caps (or 8 smaller ones, like I have here)
4 hamburger buns
A few handfuls of arugula
4 slices of red onion
1 avocado
1-2 beefsteak tomatoes (depending on how thinly you slice it)


1. Pour the vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic powder, basil, thyme, and pepper into a large zip lock bag. Mix the ingredients briefly, then place the mushroom caps in the bag as well. Get as much of the air out of the bag as possible, the smush the marinade around a little until the mushrooms are coated. Place on the counter top for 30-60 minutes or put it in the fridge for several hours.

2. When you're ready to eat, heat the grill, grill pan, or skillet over medium heat and apply just enough oil to lightly coat it. Grill the mushrooms and onions for about 8 minutes on each side, until you get some nice browning.

3.  While the mushrooms and onions are grilling, assemble the rest of the sandwich.  Scoop out the avocado flesh and slice it thinly.  Slice your tomato.  Toast the bun, if you want, and put a handful of arugula on the bottom.  Top the arugula with a mushroom (or two if the caps are smaller), then layer on the tomatoes, onions, and avocado on top of that.  Place the top of the bun on the stack and serve immediately.


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